49 Langarans

49Langaran

Heather Prost

Langara Alum | Accessible Arts Advocate

You might be surprised to find arts programming in a local brewery. Enter Heather Prost, Arts Programmer at Steel & Oak Brewing Co. Heather manages the community gallery space that shows works from artists from all walks of life, including those who are LGBTQ+, disabled, or living with mental health challenges. Heather is a facilitator, mixed media visual artist, and end-of-life doula; she is also an Expressive Arts Therapy student at Langara College.

“I want to help give people access to their imagination again. For some reason, when we grow up, our childlike urges to play and to imagine are shed. We take creativity for granted.”

While studying Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University, Heather co-created an initiative called ArtTHRIVE, a free arts-based workshop for survivors of sexualized violence. A conversation from a participant inspired her to explore therapeutic arts that evening – Langara’s Expressive Arts Therapy program stood out to her.

“Seeing positive growth and self-love is inspiring. One thing healers often put aside is their own needs to heal. Helping others care for themselves is easy, but remembering to practice your own self-care can be challenging.”

The Expressive Arts Therapy program, the first of its kind in BC, offers an arts-based approach to integrative psychotherapy training. It emphasizes working with the imagination using art modalities such as creative writing, drama, visual arts, theatre, and movement, to bring about healing and transformation.

In her practicum, Heather has the opportunity to select the demographic she wants to work with. She has decided to focus her work on hospice care, including working with terminal patients and supporting their families.

“I am a firsthand witness of how healing the expressive arts can be. I was able to make sense of my own trauma by engaging in expressive arts therapy. When you have the opportunity to bear witness to that, you’re going to want to immerse yourself in it.”

In her spare time, Heather enjoys interior design, and is a tropical plant enthusiast. She is currently taking care of 80 plants and documents their plant growth in various spaces in her home. Heather also enjoys spending time with her three cats Pearl, Eta and Burt.

Article from 2020 Continuing Studies Spring Guidebook.

49 Facts — NO. 24

In 2017 the actor, playwright, and director Kevin Loring, who is a graduate of the Studio 58 program, was announced as the National Arts Centre’s first ever artistic director of Indigenous Theatre.

Meet more 49 Langarans.

  • Kevin Loring

    Kevin Loring

    Langara Alum | Indigenous Theatre Pioneer

    Kevin is the Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the first national Indigenous theatre department in the world. A member of the Nlaka’pamux Nation, he is an accomplished Canadian playwright, actor, and director. He has written several plays, including Where the Blood Mixes, exploring the intergenerational effects of the residential school system, for which he won the 2009 Governor General’s Award for English Language Drama as well as three Jessie Richardson awards. Previously, he served as co-curator of the Talking Stick Festival; Artist in Residence at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre; and Artistic Director of the Savage Society. Kevin also acted as Playwright in Residence at the National Arts Centre; Documentary Producer of Canyon Wars: The Untold Story; and Project Lead/Creator and Director of the Songs of the Land, a project in his home community of Lytton First Nation exploring the 100-year old audio recordings of songs and stories of the Nlaka’pamux people.

  • David Turpin

    David Turpin

    Langara Alum | Academic Leader & Scientist

    Dr. David Turpin is the 13th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta. One of Canada’s most admired and respected post-secondary leaders, he has held several leadership roles including President of the University of Victoria, Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s University, and head of the Department of Botany at the University of British Columbia. He is past Chair of the World University Service of Canada, Vice-Chair of the U15 Executive Heads, and serves as a Member of both the Universities Canada Board of Directors and Research Advisory Committee. A distinguished scholar and highly cited researcher in plant biochemistry and physiology, he has earned many honours and distinctions for his research, teaching, and service. He is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, as well as a recipient of the Steacie Memorial Fellowship (1989), the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal (2002), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal (2012).

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  • Heather Prost

    Heather Prost

    Langara Alum | Accessible Arts Advocate

    Heather is a Community Inclusion Supervisor at the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion, the Arts Programmer for Steel & Oak Brewing, and an Auxiliary Workshop Facilitator at Artists Helping Artists. An advocate for accessible art and mental health, she worked to create The Spoon Project, which uses art as a starting point for discussion on mental health. She is the co-founder of ARTThrive, an arts workshop program started at SFU, which is designed to create safer spaces for survivors of sexual abuse and queer youth through meditative practice. She is also one of the conceptual leads behind Steel & Oak’s Women’s Brew, a beer conceptualized and brewed annually by female-identifying members of the company. The proceeds from beer sales go towards select charities. Heather is presently studying with Langara Continuing Studies to become an Expressive Arts Therapist and recently became a certified End of Life Care doula.

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